I have never in my whole professional career been so proud like today! Since I had started working at the coi.gov.pl I’ve put a lot of heart into Scrum coaching of several teams. Today I have been rewarded and it was amazing!
Coaching is about working with a team...
Coaching is about working with a team and what’s the most important, is to let them fail and then get up by their own. And then to help with analyzing why they fell, and how to prevent those kind of problems in future. Is not about knowing and sharing all answers for any problems that may occur anytime. It’s about working along with them in stride for perfection. Therefore in my humble opinion the most important part of the Scrum and Agile software development is…
Since all my teams are already trying a one week long sprints we have set the maximum length for this Retrospective meeting to 45 minutes. The Scrum Guide defines this gathering as follows:
"The Sprint Retrospective is an opportunity for the Scrum Team to inspect itself and create a plan for improvements to be enacted during the next Sprint."
That said, Retro meeting is a place for a team to learn. IMHO as a professional thisshould be the most important part of our job: to constantly self improving our skills. It is common practise to have those considerations and brainstorming conclusions wrote down either electronically for example in a wiki system, wrote down on a large sheet of paper divided into three columns (Stop Doing, Start Doing, Continue Doing) or both. Bare with me for a moment, we’ll get to this in a minute.
/* Believe me, with Safe Search off in Google I have found some transparency images, but… let me not to past those ones here :} */
Scrum is about working together:
"Individuals and interactions over processes and tools"
While you’re collaborating with others and you open your team for constructive feedback, you might achieve something that is very hard to get by yourself. You might receive an objective opinion and sometimes a helpful hand.
How about merging those two concepts together. Making retrospective transparent. How about opening your retro notes widely to anybody at your company and say: “here are our problems. We admit we’re not perfect. We could use your advice on those topics that we’re working on to improve ourselves, or help you with the other ones like those we’ve already solved.”
Today I have been surprised by the team I had recently (few days ago) started working with. Team members talked to the other crews and find out that I put a lot of pressure to introduce Retrospective meetings on a very early stage of Scrum introduction. Right before we started working together the team googled up what’s the Retro is all about. They prepared for me large a sheet of paper covered with their problems, solutions and findings. This already would be a nice present to get, but they gone further…
More to come...
The team decided to disclose their problems and pin this giant sheet to a wall next to their milestone goals and review calendar. Moreover they have teamed up with other guys who have followed them and put their ponderings next to the previous ones.
The magic happens
Team has came to the conclusion that they might collaborate on those common problems they have encountered on sprints. One creaw has already came up with the solution for the issues of the other one and is willing to share those information. Thanks to that, they will spare the team a time of looking up those data and save them from falling over some small things that are well known bugs or issues.
But the most important was, that both the Development Director and CEO spotted those posters on the wall and underlined that the teams has really started to collaborate and working on a full time with each others not competing, but going along for common goal and success.
I couldn’t be more happy to see this! It was like a christmas all over again. My role at the organization is to help developers working and collaborating with each others. Today I have received a superb gift from them. I know for certain now, that they want to work together. I like helping others, that’s makes me happy :}